Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Gunfire Jumbo Edition: Jubilee Publications do their stuff

I don’t profess to know much at all about Jubilee Publications and their comics – the history, the genres published, their profile or status within the local publishing industry. Even James’ fine detective work doesn’t clear up too much for me in this regard. And I don’t expect to be too distracted by JP in the near future.

Having said that, I’ve enjoyed digging around and picking up some information on this particular issue - Gunfire Jumbo Edition #46001. I traded for a copy some years ago, attracted by the Alex Toth reprint of “Gun Glory”, a 23-page story which originally appeared in Dell’s Four Color #846, October 1957.

Other than that I didn’t really pay any attention to the rest of the contents. I’d often see copies at fairs and the like and make a passing mental note that it was ‘a Toth comic’ but other than that I didn’t give it a second thought.

But clearly the cover image made some sort of impression on me, as browsing around on eBay recently I chanced upon a copy of Cheyenne #3218 and recognised the cover image immediately. As per James I understand this issue was originally published in 1972 and Gunfire a few years later in 1976.

So Gunfire #46001 recycles the cover from Cheyenne #3218, another Jubilee Publications issue. Interesting enough. But it doesn’t stop there.

Further digging reveals that the contents of Gunfire Jumbo Edition #46001 are based on yet another Jubilee Publications comic – Gunfire Giant Edition #4 from 1965. Indeed Gunfire #46001 reprints the first five stories in sequence from Gunfire #4, omitting the last 17 pages, and adding a single-page sequence titled “Rodeo Wrinkles”.

So Gunfire #46001 from 1976 is a mashup of two previous Jubilee Publications comics - Gunfire Giant Edition #4 from 1965 and Cheyenne #3218 from 1972. That counts as rather interesting to me.

As I said, I know very little about Jubilee Publications, but I suspect this kind of recycling was rather common for them by the mid-1970’s, as it was for other Australian comics publishers.

In fact, I’m sure I’ve seen another later edition of a Gunfire issue with the same gaudy yellow and pink tones as Gunfire #46001 with a higher price than $0.45, obviously published at a later date. I would have presumed at the time that it was a facsimile of Gunfire #46001, but who knows – the contents could be completely different after all.

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